THE catwalks of London, Milan and New York will soon have nothing on York, when the fashions of the last 500 years go on show in the city.

The Castle Museum's newest exhibition will welcome visitors with the sounds of paparazzi cameras clicking, and will bring people face to face with some of the most outlandish styles of our history - from a dress worn by the diminutive Queen Victoria, to massive 1980s shoulder pads, and from the contemporary brassiere to a body-bracing Tudor corset made from iron.

The exhibition - Shaping the Body - launches on Good Friday, March 25.

Senior curator Ali Bodley said: "Clothing and body shape have been intrinsically linked for thousands of years, with men and women choosing different styles in different periods that influence their body shape to reflect the latest trends.

"This isn’t a new idea that has come about with J-Lo style bum implants, but has been going on for centuries with assorted health risks when the fashions are taken to the extreme.

"Visitors will see in the outfits on display just how diverse the silhouette can be, but the wearers of these clothes would be cinched in, padded out or, in some cases, malnourished to make their garments look good."